Having a baby is hard. Having one during the pandemic is harder. Staying healthy and positive is necessary despite the uncertainty. New mothers, this one is for you.
Honour your feelings
Let me state the obvious because it’s important to reiterate it: It’s okay to not feel upbeat all the time. It’s also alright to feel exhausted. If you’re irritable, accept it. Rather than judging yourself for not having it all together, be realistic about what you expect from yourself.
Communicate and share
Whether you choose to talk to a friend, a family member, or a professional, do talk it out. Sharing your experiences and what you may be going through at the moment, can relieve you from the feeling of isolation. Be honest while you talk. This is key. There’s no harm in being vulnerable. Embrace uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Challenge them and keep moving forward through your postpartum journey with compassion.
Self-care is a saving grace
This has become a buzzword lately but all for good reason. Prioritising yourself is crucial in these turbulent time. It could be something as simple as watching your favourite show or signing up for a wellness programme. Give yourself a relaxing massage or learn a form of meditation.
Work it out
Mental health is deeply interlinked with physical health. Staying indoors all the time, tending to the baby can make you feel sluggish and cranky. Request a family member to watch your baby for
an hour while you take a run. You’ll need those stress- and pain-relieving endorphins.
Choose to eat clean. Eat whole grains and unprocessed foods. Include protein and healthy fats. Avoid sugar. Drink two litres of water to work up the metabolism.
Ask for help
New mothers often hide their pain and wallow in fear. Talk-therapy or medication could ease symptoms.
(The author is a Toronto-based, South Asian health and wellness coach, author, and speaker, who has developed a programme to help new mothers bounce back from a pandemic birth)
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